This year, in an extremely unusual coincidence of the calendar, the chants of “Gobble, gobble, gobble” for Thanksgiving will be interspersed with the singing of “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel” for Hanukkah.
Manischewitz, the nation’s leading maker of kosher foods, is hoping to have fun — and sell its mainstay products like broth — by combining the holidays.
A multimedia campaign by Manischewitz will celebrate the early arrival of Hanukkah, which almost always begins in December, by encouraging consumers to celebrate “Thanksgivukah.”
The campaign will include a microsite, or special website, where the Hanukkah candelabrum, known as a menorah, is topped by a turkey; a presence in such social media as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter; digital ads; paid search-engine marketing; email marketing; video clips, to be generated through the crowdsourcing service Tongal; e-cards; recipes, with a recipe contest; and a free app.
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The campaign has a budget of about $2.5 million to $3 million, which is large for Manischewitz.
The agencies collaborating on the campaign include UMarketing, for the bulk of the work; IMC, for the special site; and the Bender Group, formerly the Bender Hammerling Group, for public relations.
By the Jewish calendar, a holiday actually begins at sundown the night before, so the first night of Hanukkah is Wednesday, Nov. 27, the night before Thanksgiving.
That means the first day of Hanukkah, which lasts eight days and nights, is Nov. 28, Thanksgiving. The last time that happened — according to an article by The Associated Press, which carried the headline “Gobble Tov!” — was 1888.
By Thursday night, when people are picking at leftovers and hitting some early-bird Black Friday sales, Jews will be lighting the candles for the second night of Hanukkah.
Manischewitz is calling its holiday mashup Thanksgivukah, with one “k” near the end, rather than two as in “Hanukkah,” to reflect an alternative English-language spelling, Chanukah.
Others have beaten Manischewitz to the punch in spelling the fanciful holiday as “Thanksgivukkah,” including a marketing specialist from Massachusetts, Dana Gitell, who is reported to have come up with the word in November 2012 and subsequently trademarked it. Manischewitz executives realized about a year ago that “this unique calendar rarity” was on its way, said Avital Pessar, brand manager at Manischewitz in Newark, N.J., “and dove right in.”
The idea from the beginning was that any campaign the company would run would be humorous, she said, adding, “We take our products seriously but we love having fun with the marketing promotions.”